Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies – no mixer required!

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Sometimes I like cookies with a lot going on. Chips of chocolate, swirls of peanut butter, butterscotch morsels, chunks of nuts, stuffed with caramel, and other delightful candies. Sprinkle cookies, chocolate chip cookies, frosted cookies – the more stuff going on, the better.

But not all the time.

Sometimes I prefer a pure, simple cookie like sugar cookies without the icing. (I can’t believe I’m saying that because I love icing!) Today’s recipe highlights my favorite flavor: brown sugar. Moist, molasses-spiked brown sugar in every single bite. Soft, chewy, and kissed with cinnamon. These simple brown sugar cookies are undeniably impressive.

They’re not at all “plain” – rather, today’s cookies are exploding with flavor.

You’re going to recognize today’s cookie recipe. It’s a spin-off recipe of my chewy chocolate chip cookies. I used a few of the same ingredient ratios and recipe techniques in today’s brown sugar cookies.

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Start with melted butter. Most of the cookies I make call for creaming softened butter with the sugars. However, sometimes I prefer to use melted butter instead of creaming it. Melted butter, when paired with the correct ratio of dry ingredients, increases the chewy factor in the baked cookie. Since you are using melted butter, you don’t need a mixer for this cookie recipe!

You’re also going to use only brown sugar in this cookie recipe (except for the rolling… more on that below). 1 and 1/4 cups of dark brown sugar bring so much moisture to these baked cookies, as well as a modest molasses flavor. Light brown sugar may easily be substituted here!

In the original chocolate chunk cookie from which this recipe is adapted, I call for 1 egg and 1 egg yolk. Today, you just need 1 egg. 1 egg and less flour than the original recipe. Don’t worry, these cookies are still just as chewy! You’ll also add a touch of cinnamon to the cookie dough. The cinnamon is completely optional, but the pronounced brown sugar flavor paired with the slight kiss of cinnamon spice really takes these cookies to the next level!

Look at how thick these cookies are. To achieve their thick texture, chill the cookie dough. Also, I make sure there is enough flour to soak up the melted butter. Melted butter is greasy and unless there is enough dry ingredients to soak it all up, you’re going to have some cookie spreading sadness!

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I also add a bit of cornstarch to the cookie dough. Cornstarch thickens cookie dough just as it thickens gravies, soups, and jams. It’s a miracle worker in cookie recipes!

Don’t you love the brown sugar cookies’ crinkled tops? That’s achieved by slightly pressing the cookies down. After chilling the cookie dough and rolling the dough in a bit of sugar, you’ll bake them. Now, pay attention to this: Remove the cookies from the oven after 8-9 minutes, gently press down on the tops with the back of a spoon or fork, and then place them back into the oven for 1-2 more minutes. Why are you doing that? Not only so you can achieve some crinkly tops, but also because the cookies need a little help spreading during bake time. You could always just press the cookie tops down after the entire bake time, but then your cookies may just look like you carelessly smashed them down. I feel that they looked better when put back into the oven for 1-2 minutes after pressing down. I’m all about pretty cookies, ok?

I have a confession. We’re heading to a work holiday party and clearly, I can’t go empty handed. However, I made these cookies two days ago. And guess what? They are STILL just as soft on day 3 as they were on day 1. And to be completely honest, their cinnamon and brown sugar flavors are heavily pronounced today. You know a cookie recipe is a winner when its softness isn’t compromised as the days go by. I just love that about this recipe! True “soft-batch” style, just like the cookies you get at bakeries and those tempting mall kiosks.

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies – no mixer required!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (use 1 teaspoon if you love cinnamon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled*
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.
  3. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes if you had it chilling for more than 2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Pour the granulated sugar into a bowl. Take 2 scant Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, then roll into the sugar. Place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press the top of the cookie down with the back of a utensil or even use your fingers. You’re trying to obtain a crinkly top. Place back into the oven for 2-4 more minutes. The total time these cookies are in the the oven is 10-13 minutes. The cookies will be puffy and still appear very soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. They will continue to cook in the center on the baking sheet after being removed from the oven.
  7.  Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. Unbaked cookie dough balls (before rolling in sugar) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in granulated sugar. Bake as directed. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Butter: Simply melt the butter in the microwave. Let it cool down for about 5-10 minutes before mixing with the other ingredients. Don’t want to cook that egg with the hot butter!
  3. Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps promise a softer, thicker cookie. I highly recommend it. I use it in my chocolate chip cookies, too. Feel free to leave it out if needed.
  4. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: brown sugar cookies, chewy brown sugar cookies

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

225 Comments

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  1. These were the best brown sugar cookies we have ever had.  They’re quick and easy to put together.  I followed the recipe (almost] exactly but did make a few minor changes…  Since we don’t like cinnamon and it’s optional, we left it out.  We also used light brown sugar instead of the dark because that’s all I had.  

    I’ve made them twice in 24 hours, that’s how good these are.  Thank you sharing your wonderful recipe and thank you for creating an easy cleanup recipe. Love love love!

  2. I made two batches of these this weekend. Both came out of the oven looking thick and delicious but shrank to flatter than a pancake as they cooled. The first batch, I chilled for 2 hours. The second batch I chilled for 16 hours, hoping that would solve the flatness problem but it didn’t. The dough was absolutely delicious! The cookies were too, but I couldn’t get past the flatness. Not sure where I went wrong – I followed the recipe exactly, none of my ingredients were expired, etc.

  3. These have quickly become our family favorite! I always end up baking them a few extra minutes because I like them with a bit more chew and crispness. Last time I made them, I used 1 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar which firmed them up a drop more and turned the oven up to 350 halfway through baking. They turned out perfect – same awesome taste with a slightly different texture!

  4. Allison L Thompson says:

    Love these cookies!! My New Favorite Recipe, I found this a couple of years ago and made them several times, then forgot about them…. remembered them and realized I had misplaced the printed recipe… so here I am copying it down the old fashioned way…going to be making these very soon. Thank you.

  5. Hi Sally, I made these cookies yesterday and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Hello Sally!
    You’re known in India too! Your blog was recommended to me by a friend.
    So I made these cookies and everyone loved them.
    Thank you !

    1. Hi Smruti! I absolutely love hearing from readers all around the globe!! So happy you enjoyed these cookies 🙂

  7. This is my favorite recipe!  However we moved to a new house and I can’t get these cookies to come out. They completely flatten out once removed from the oven and look greasy. Please help!  I love these cookies. 

    1. I was having the same problem and increased my oven temperature by 10 degrees, baked the cookies for 13-14 minutes, and added about a quarter cup of flour.  The cookies were still a little chewy-crisp instead of pillowy-soft but they spread much less and looked less greasy.

  8. Hi Sally! I just made these and they spread really thin for some reason, not nearly as dense and thick as yours. Would you happen to know what makes cookies spread too much? I chilled for 5 hours and used an oven thermometer and had just made your peppermint mocha cookies which turned out fantastic so I’m pretty sure it’s not my oven. I’m thinking I could fix it by rolling 1 Tsp of dough instead of 2 and chilling overnight. What do you think?

    1. I think I figured it out. This recipe doesn’t require a mixer so I may have went to town with the whisk to try and compensate. Probably shouldn’t have over-mixed the sugar and butter.

  9. I started making these yesterday and realised we didn’t have any eggs – I subbed in 1 small banana (mashed) and they taste delicious – the combo of the banana, brown sugar and cinnamon really works. They are slightly raw in the middle and I made a few errors (overmixed butter and sugar, didn’t chill for long enough) but since the dough doesn’t have any raw eggs in, you can eat them slightly raw without any worry! Great recipe. Thank you!

  10. Hi Sally! I wanted to make your soft-baked white chocolate molasses cookies, but molasses aren’t being sold in my country. Is it possible to add the white chocolate chips in this recipe and have the same “effect”? 🙂 

    1. Won’t taste quite the same, but will be delicious nonetheless! Go ahead and add 1 cup of white chips here.

  11. I chilled the dough and then prepared the cookies 2 ways. First as directed (those are tasty). For the rest of the batch, I took each ball of dough and flattened it extremely thin. I dipped it in sugar and baked for 11 min. The resulting cookie was both crispy on the edges and chewy throughout. I dipped the crispy ones in melted chocolate and used the “regular” ones as sandwich cookies with cinnamon buttercream filling. Two different cookies- same dough. Yum. 

  12. these are my favorite cookies i make them all the time and it is something kids can help with!
    sooooo good thanks!!!! <3 what would happen if i put mint extract instead of vanilla extract

  13. Hi. I LOVE this Chewy Brown Sugar  Cookie recipe. It reminds me of my blond brownies. To streamline it, I heated the butter in a 3 qt saucepan, took it off-heat, mixed in the brown sugar well.  Then I wisked in the egg, then vanilla.  Finally I stirred in the dry ingredients.  Wonderful results & eliminated a second bowl to wash.  Thanks for the super cookies!

  14. This is one of my top 5 cookie recipes of all times. It is so simple, but the flavor and chewy consistency are so, so good. When I make them I add 2 Tbsp. of turbinado sugar into the dough. This gives each cookie a nice little crunch. They freeze beautifully.

  15. Ellen Smith says:

    I made these as directed (except with white spelt flour instead of wheat, due to an allergy.) I anticipated using them as a host gift, since they seemed very pretty in the photos. When they came out of the oven after 11 minutes looking underdone I didn’t leave them in, due to the recipe’s warning that this was normal. However, after 10 minutes on the sheet and another 10 on a wire rack, they were still basically raw. I think I’m going to end up having to throw them away.

  16. Meghan Lussier says:

    Currently I’m trying these cookies out using 1 cup chickpea flour, 1 cup regular. Praying that it works out! 

  17. Baked these cookies for the first time today, absolutely loved them the cinnamon idea was amazing! Just wanted to say how much myself and my family enjoyed your cookie recipe!

  18. I just made these without chilling, and they turned out perfectly! I used whole wheat flour and light brown sugar, and I used a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon, but otherwise followed the recipe and these puffed up nicely, had crinkled tops, and were absolutely delicious!

  19. I browned the butter first, and oh-my-god, the cookies were DELICIOUS! Browning the butter makes them taste exactly like a “starbucks toffeedoodle” cookie. Next time I might throw in some Skor toffee bits.

  20. Love these cookies.  I’ve been in a cookie  mood lately and this is the only recipe I’ve repeated!   Matter of fact I have a batch sitting in the fridge right now, waiting to be baked. 

  21. First time following a recipe on this website and followed the instructions completely but cookies did not turn out as expected lol. I checked the ingredients again and I followed the grams recipe but when I double checked and looked at the cups recipe (2 cups of flour and 1+1/4 brown sugar), I can see that more flour is used than sugar rather than the same amount it said in grams (250g of both).

    Would advise you change this as I followed the measurements in grams and they definitely do not look like the picture. They flattened out, look very dark brown and take way longer to cook. They taste very sweet (probably due to the extra sugar) and it’s hard to tell if they are really cooked or not.

    I would love to try this recipe again with the correct measurements as everyone seems to have had a great time baking them.

    1. Hi Anne! Sugar weighs more than flour, so the gram measurements will be different per cup. I’m sorry that the cookies spread too much. I would try adding a little more flour if you ever decide trying to make them again.

  22. Hi Sally! my boys (husband and son) loved the cookies I baked! Thanks to your recipe and notes! Soo chewy yummy cookies! (chewy chocolate chip cookies and chewy sugar cookies)

    Sai Navarro/PHILIPPINES

  23. Have the cookies chilling now! To add a touch of fall flavor I used pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg! Hopefully they will be as good as everyone is raving about! 

  24. Angiene Pommells says:

    These were delicious. I added just a little less than quarter cup of flour and a bit of baking powder, Great texture and best of all no creaming. Thank you so much for this recipe

  25. I am looking forward to trying these. Should I melt the butter in microwave or brown the butter? I know browned butter gives a nuttier flavor as i have a Fruit Cobbler that calls for doing that and it is wonderful. So i just want to make sure which way would be better. Thanks. Oh and to cool the butter or not please?

    1. I definitely recommend browning it, but make sure to let it cool so it doesn’t cook the eggs.

  26. I made these last week and browned the butter, adding an extra tablespoon to make up for the amount that evaporated. Such great flavor! And they indeed stayed soft and chewy for days.

    1. Thank you so much for the tip to add a tbsp of butter! I browned my butter and wondered why the batter seemed a little crumbly: I’m sure that was why! They still came out fantastically though. Next time I’ll add the extra tbsp of butter to the mixture to help account for the evaporation.

  27. Mine refuse to cook! The dough is frozen and I cook them for 10 min, flatten, then another 2 min at 325. They cool into brown sand dollars. Nice crunch on the outside and goo on the inside. What have I done?! All your other cookies come out perfect. 

    1. I made 3 dozen of these cookies last weekend. The best thick & chewy cookies were the ones that were made toward the end when the dough was much softer. They come out way better when the dough is brought to room temperature.

      1. Diego Márquez says:

        Hey Susan, you made those 3 doses following the same portions given here? or did you use more of everything? Thanks!

  28. Alot like snicker doodles

  29. Suzanne Donlon-Lee says:

    Hi Sally,

    I have never written in before but have been enjoying your recipes for about 2 years now. Congratulations on your marriage and baby.
    I am one of those people who always has to experiment with things (translates to how can I make this even more fattening!), in any case, this recipe with macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips added to it is delicious. I know that you have another recipe for the white chocolate mac cookies but with this dough it is wonderful.

    Thanks and I hope you and your husband and baby have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

  30. Hi! I’ve made these cookies several times, and while I love the way they taste, they never turn out quite like the picture. First, “two scant tablespoons” makes for a huge cookie; I usually scale the dough back to less than one tablespoon (maybe even half a tablespoon). Secondly, my cookies always spread, so taking them out of the oven to press them down doesn’t really do anything. I’m wondering if anyone has made this recipe with softened or even cold, creamed butter and whether that makes the cookies come out a bit plumper? Again, I love the taste of this recipe, but it never quite looks the way I want (i.e. like the picture).

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